If I have type 2 diabetes, is it best to start taking insulin soon?

Ronald Tamler, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

When to start what medication is something that doctor and patient discuss together. It is possible that you may need insulin only for a short time after diagnosis if your sugars are very, very high and the cells that make insulin are in shell shock – that’s called glucose toxicity. Many people can then go back on oral medication. One thing is sure: If you delay insulin treatment when it is needed and your sugars are too high because of it, it will be detrimental to your health.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.